Charles Wakefield Cadman

Biography

Born: December 24, 1881; Johnston, PA   Died: December 30, 1946; Los Angeles, CA  
Cadman, grandson of Samuel Wakefield, composer of hymns and builder of the first pipe organ west of the Allegheny Mountains, studied music privately with many distinguished teachers. During a period in which he was serving as a conductor of the Pittsburgh Male Chorus, the organist at the United Presbyterian Church in Homestead, PA, and as music critic and editor for the Pittsburgh Dispatch, Cadman developed an interest in the music of Native Read more Americans. He spent a summer on the Omaha and Winnebago reservations recording tribal songs. This led to the publication of Four American Indian Songs, with words by the poet Nellie Richmond Eberhart. Two of these songs, At Dawning and From the Land of the Sky-Blue Water, became very popular. Cadman's music is characterized by its well constructed melodies and traditional harmonies and is inspired by Native American sources. However, Cadman is clearly a member of of the group of American composers, including Farwell and Gilbert, who have idealized Native American music and turned it into sentimental household music, robbing it of its ethnic character. Read less

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